Integrative Health Utilizes the Best of Both Conventional and Complementary Therapies.

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine

“Integrative medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”

Bravewell Collaborative: Integrative Medicine has the following characteristics:
  • Patient-centered care and focuses on healing the whole person – mind, body and spirit in the context of community;
  • Educates and empowers people to be active participants in their own care and to take responsibility for their health and wellness;
  • Integrates the best of Western scientific medicine with a broader understanding of nature of illness, healing and wellness;
  • Makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches and evidence-based global medical modalities to achieve optimal health and healing;
  • Encourages partnerships between the provider and patient, supports the individualization of care; and
    creates a culture of wellness.

Conventional Therapies

Conventional therapies is the standard medical modality in much of the world which includes treating symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.

Complementary Therapies and Integrative Healthcare

An integrative and complementary medicine approach including yoga therapy, holistic nursing, and a healing environment in the inpatient setting can decrease use of medications, resulting in substantial cost savings for hospitals in the care of oncology patients.

Additional Resources

Whole Health Websites

FIND A CANADIAN NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR HERE: On the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors website.

WHOLE HEALTH MD: Punch in your ailment in their virtual Healing Centre and get a list of the “most effective” as well as “beneficial” supplements and herbs, with dosage recommendations. Healing recipes, a reference library, expert Q&A and a whole-body news section round off this highly useful site.

ALIVE: The online version of this Canadian alt health mag has a ton of easy-to-access archived stories on holistic healing, food and nutrition, and beauty, as well as event listings and a handy Health Retailer Search to help you find a health store near you.

DR WEIL: For a physician’s perspective on holistic health, this is a great site to visit. Dr. Weil approaches wellness from an integrative health angle, combining conventional and complementary medicines with lots of excellent whole health suggestions. The site’s live vitamin advisers are useful, but don’t feel pressured to buy the specific brand of supplements they’re peddling. You can find the same supplements in Canadian health stores.

CONSUMER LAB: This watchdog does independent testing of vitamins, minerals, herbs, energy products, functional foods and much more for potency, purity and overall honesty. Sign up for their free newsletter. For detailed reports on over 900 supplement scores, you’ll need to cough up just over $2 a month—totally worth it.

HEALTH ACTION NETWORK:  The Health Action Network Society site is a non-profi t natural health resource venue based in B.C

HEALTHY CANADIANS by HEALTH CANADA This Health Canada–run website is a quick ’n’ easy place to fi nd details on product recalls, including drugs and natural health products. You can subscribe to have consumer alerts sent to your email, too.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE:   The website of the U.S. government–run National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary Medicine. This one offers a cautious assessment of what the research says (both for and against a particular herb or supplement), and tells you the side effects and cautions around particular natural health products, from acai to zinc. The Center also conducts its own clinical research trials on things such as acupuncture, breast cancer and green tea.

ALT MED REVIEW: Want to dig deeper for medical studies on supplements and alternative medicine? This is a good place to start. Alternative Medicine Review is a peer-reviewed journal.

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